On this episode of AvTalk, Southwest Airlines is getting a new CEO, airlines are running into the great training roadblock, and the 737 MAX still isn’t re-certified in China.

Southwest Airlines’ CEO changes

Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly announced he will step down in February 2022, with Robert Jordan assuming the role. Kelly will remain with Southwest as Executive Chairman through 2026.

Crew crunch causing cancellations

Crew availability is affecting airlines’ ability to run as many flights as they’d like—with some airlines like American Airlines canceling hundreds of flights a day. The number of available crew is hampered by training and currency requirements that need to be completed before crew can fly.

MAX updates

The 737-10 MAX flew for the first time last week, marking the last first flight for variants of the MAX family. We also discuss the lack of certification for the MAX by China.

Undesirable retraction

A British Airways 787 (G-ZBJB) suffered a nose gear mishap on the ground in London last week. The nose gear retracted while the aircraft was parked and being loaded with cargo for a flight to Frankfurt.

New liveries

Southwest Airlines now has “Freedom One” and Skymark Airlines has a fresh Pokémon-themed 737.

Checking Heathrow’s math

Heathrow claimed Jazeera Airways’ new Kuwait City-London route was the longest operated by the A320neo, but Jason actually did the math and it’s not even close.

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